Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Center for the Performing Arts seeks concepts for integrative courses featuring Black artists

The Center for the Performing Arts invites Penn State faculty to develop short concept papers for interdomain general-education courses with Black and African-American performing artists at their core.

Inspired by the theme “Hope-Resist-Heal: Creating Change Through the Performing Arts,” faculty should prepare for robust engagement with the center’s visiting Black and African-American artists and performances through their spring 2022 courses. The impact will be to elevate “We Are” from a one-dimensional declaration of Penn State identity to a critical examination of who we are and how we fit into the university culture and the world at large from a Black perspective. 

Visit concepts for courses for instructions and submission. Applications will be accepted until Friday, Dec. 10, 2021. Prior to submitting a full application, faculty members are encouraged to submit a summary of the proposed course for review by the program’s academic team. To submit a course summary or for more information, contact Cheri Jehu at clj5350@psu.edu.

Penn State’s Equal Opportunity Planning Committee funds the project.

“We are grateful to the committee for recognizing the value that the performing arts contributes to deepen the dialogue regarding global citizenship, equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging,” said center Director Sita Frederick. “We are excited to partner with Penn State faculty who are committed to creating transdisciplinary educational experiences that support students’ personal development and build more equitable and creative communities. We have high expectations that the connections made between artists, faculty and students will be transformative.”

The application process has two steps. First, during spring 2022, faculty will work with center staff to integrate the center’s visiting artists into their existing course(s) to exemplify and model arts integration practices. Second, selected faculty will receive a one-course buyout or equivalent supplemental pay to develop a general education interdomain course that centers Black and African-American performing artists.

Through purposeful and meaningful engagement with the performing artists, the courses developed will aim to create a sense of belonging and inclusion for students by exploring the program’s themes through the Black perspective:

  • Recognizing personal and communal identity;
  • building and immersing oneself in a community;
  • creating and receiving empathy;
  • recognizing the importance of telling one’s story and the story of others; and
  • preparing for global citizenship.

The proposed course must combine the arts with one of the other knowledge domains: arts and humanities; health and wellness; natural sciences; and social and behavioral sciences.

“This opportunity allows us to build on our work over many years, utilizing the arts to create a sense of belonging and inclusion and creating a more diverse and welcoming campus community,” said Amy Dupain Vashaw, the center’s director of audience and program development. “We look forward to reading thoughtfully crafted proposals.”